Notice of Intent to Publish a Funding Opportunity Announcement for Materials to Enhance Training in Experimental Rigor (METER) (UE5 Clinical Trial Not Allowed)
Notice Number:

Key Dates

Release Date:
March 05, 2024
Estimated Publication Date of Notice of Funding Opportunity :
July 01, 2024
First Estimated Application Due Date:
October 15, 2024
Earliest Estimated Award Date:
July 01, 2025
Earliest Estimated Start Date:
August 01, 2025
Related Announcements
  • July 28, 2021 - Materials to Enhance Training in Experimental Rigor (METER) (UE5 Clinical Trial Not Allowed). See NOFO RFA-NS-21-033
Issued by

National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS)


The purpose of this Notice is to alert the community that the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) plans to reissue initiative RFA-NS-21-033 Materials to Enhance Training in Experimental Rigor (METER) with one receipt date. The program is designed to support the compilation and refinement of educational materials that will be incorporated into a new cutting-edge online resource that aims to promote awareness, understanding, and practice of fundamental principles of rigorous biomedical research for scientists in various career stages and learning environments. Awardees will collaborate with the established coordinating center, which is funded by the companion RFA-NS-21-009 Creating an Educational Nexus for Training in Experimental Rigor (CENTER). This coordinating center (CENTER) is responsible for organizing the initiative, building the final web-based platform, harmonizing the educational units, and producing digital elements (e.g., videos, graphics, interactive components) that are beyond the technical capabilities of METER awardees. This collaboration between CENTER and METER awardees will include activities to improve, finalize, evaluate, and disseminate the resulting educational units drafted by METER awardees. More information about the initiative, its current progress, and frequently asked questions can be found at

This Notice is being provided to allow potential applicants sufficient time to develop meaningful collaborations and responsive projects. The overall objectives of the program have not changed; however, potential applicants can expect minor changes to improve the clarity of the previous announcement.

The NOFO is expected to be published in Summer 2024 with an expected application due date in October 2024.

This NOFO will utilize the UE5 activity code. Details of the planned NOFO are provided below.

Research Initiative Details

The objective of METER is to support subject matter experts who will compile and refine scholarly material pertaining to one or more principle(s) of rigorous experimental research and provide these materials to the CENTER awardee for incorporation into educational units as part of a cutting-edge online educational resource that aims to transform training and education in the practice of biomedical research. A typical METER award is expected to propose content for 2-4 educational units to be developed over a 3-year award period. An educational unit is defined as an assortment of educational materials, lessons, and activities that collectively address a single principle of rigorous research. It is estimated that one educational unit, at its maximal breadth and depth of material, will provide the equivalent of one week of instructional material if used as part of a traditional undergraduate or graduate course, although real-world users will also be able to select short, individual components of the unit with which to interact (e.g., a single 5-minute video, set of step-by-step instructions, or 45-minute package to present at laboratory meetings). As digital components of the educational units are developed, METER awardees will collaborate with CENTER to ensure accuracy and efficacy of the learning materials produced and recommend modifications as necessary. After the educational units are refined enough to begin formal evaluation, METER awardees will participate in evaluation and dissemination efforts organized by CENTER.

Principles of rigorous biomedical research are cross-cutting concepts, processes, and practices that promote rigorous, transparent, and robust scientific experiments. These principles apply across a wide variety of scientific disciplines, techniques, and approaches. Applicants should demonstrate expertise in each principle/educational unit proposed. Examples of principles of rigorous research that are of particular interest to be developed into individual educational units include, but are not limited to:

  • Creating, testing, and interpreting good scientific hypotheses
  • Defining and assessing scientific models to make predictions
  • Prospectively registering/Preregistering experimental design plans
  • Pursuing multiple lines of evidence (triangulation/orthogonal approaches) to bolster inferences
  • Reproducing, replicating, and generalizing results to strengthen inferences
  • Considering the effects of biological variables (e.g., age, sex, weight, physiological state) on experimental outcomes
  • Validating research resources, tools, methods, and outcome measures
  • Minimizing measurement bias during experimentation
  • Blinding/Masking to reduce expectation bias
  • Understanding the implications of biological vs. technical replicates (e.g., accounting for pseudoreplication)
  • Preventing the selective reporting of experimental approaches and outcomes to maximize perceived statistical significance (i.e., preventing p-hacking)
  • Focusing on biological/clinical significance over statistical significance

A successful METER application will have strengths in four major areas: (1) identification of important and widely applicable elements of rigorous biomedical research practice that can be developed into individual educational units, (2) expertise in implementing or applying relevant rigorous research principles, (3) evidence of effective communication to a variety of audiences, and (4) a vision for development of effective educational materials. Each METER application should include expertise in the biomedical research environment, one or more principle(s) of rigorous research, application of the principle(s), and effective pedagogy. See RFA-NS-21-033 for more details.

Funding Information

Estimated Total Funding


Expected Number of Awards


Estimated Award Ceiling

$250,000 direct costs (total over 3 years)

Primary Assistance Listing Number(s)


Anticipated Eligible Organizations
Public/State Controlled Institution of Higher Education
Private Institution of Higher Education
Nonprofit with 501(c)(3) IRS Status (Other than Institution of Higher Education)
Small Business
For-Profit Organization (Other than Small Business)
State Government
Indian/Native American Tribal Government (Federally Recognized)
County governments
Independent school districts
Public housing authorities/Indian housing authorities
Indian/Native American Tribally Designated Organization (Native American tribal organizations (other than Federally recognized tribal governments)
U.S. Territory or Possession
Indian/Native American Tribal Government (Other than Federally Recognized)
Non-domestic (non-U.S.) Entity (Foreign Organization)
Regional Organization
Eligible Agencies of the Federal Government

Applications are not being solicited at this time. 


Please direct all inquiries to:

Devon Crawford, Ph.D.

Office of Research Quality

National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke